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Back by popular demand .... the East Hampton Trail Maps!

Library to Library Hike

Library to Library Map

During the June 07 East Hampton Trails Preservation meeting it was announced that initial work had been completed on the proposed Springs-Amagansett Trail.  GPS expertise and knowledge of trail design principles received from East Hampton Natural Resources Department was invaluable.  Several months later Black Locust logs were harvested at the old brush dump on Bull Path.  They would be used for the new trail as signposts and components of a log staircase being built in Amagansett.

Last week, Gene Makl, EHTPS VP in charge of Trails Planning, met me at the parking lot behind The Amagansett Library on Montauk Highway for a preview of this trail. Follow the signs for public parking to find the library.  From there we drove north to Parsons Blacksmith Shop in The Springs, facing Ashawagh Hall, across Old Stone Highway, at the Springs Fireplace intersection.  The Ambrose Parsons House was built in the late 1700s by Ambrose Parsons; rebuilt in 1851. The Springs Historical Society's headquarters is in the Ambrose Parsons House.  It was willed to the town of East Hampton by Elizabeth Parker Anderson, the last private owner, "to be used as a library for the people of Springs."  The Springs Historical Society now operates the Library, and the Town maintains the building and grounds.  The Library is on the corner of Springs Fireplace Road and Old Stone Highway.  We parked in the parking area in front of the Parson’s Blacksmith Shop next door.  The Blacksmith Shop was owned and operated by Charles Parsons from 1886 until 1926.  To protect the structure from probable demolition, East HamptonTown purchased it and moved it to its present location.  Last fall the Town sponsored blacksmith demonstrations on the weekends.  It is anticipated that they will do the same next year.  How is that for a good hike destination?

We headed south on foot, behind the blacksmith shop, to the beginning of the trail marked with 4-inch round, yellow painted blazes.  Gene explained that the EHTPS trail crew developed a method using round sponges and paintbrushes to make the blazes uniform in size and shape. 

Gene is very energetic, he walks and talks fast, so I was prepared for the information he provided:  ”The Springs/Amagansett Trail was conceived by Deb Foster, a retiring council person on the East Hampton Town Board.  She approached EHTPS in early 2006 with a proposal to establish a north/south neighborhood trail that would link the two hamlets.  Her original idea was for a 10 mile trail to run from Maidstone Park in Springs to the ocean beach in Amagansett.  Deb and EHTPS conducted a feasibility study and concluded that many land parcels were not available, resulting in considerable road walking and/or long delays in receiving approvals.  As a result, the plan changed; the trail would run 4.5 miles from the center of Springs to the center of Amagansett.  In August 2006, EHTPS made a presentation to the East Hampton Town Board and received unanimous approval to proceed.  This was the first time EHTPS was approached by the Town to create a trail.  With Deb Foster leading, landowners were approached, accommodations were made, approvals were obtained, trail connections were established, and the trail was completed in late October 2007.  Over half the trail was created from existing trails with little cutting or disturbance to land parcels.  Eventually the trail may be expanded to the original plan.  Meanwhile, the people of East Hampton can enjoy this diverse trail that includes oak and beech forest, working farmland, school playgrounds, residential neighborhoods, and historic landmarks.  On December 1, 2007, 10:00 a.m. an inaugural ceremony and hike will take place beginning at the Parsons Blacksmith Shop in Springs. Everyone is invited.  That evening, at our annual holiday celebration, EHTPS will honor Deb Foster with the George Sid Miller Friend of the Trails Award. On December 8, EHTPS will lead the hike in the opposite direction, starting at the Amagansett Library. ”

As Gene and I walked, we saw Pussy’s Pond on the left through the dense woods, then came out onto Sand Lot Road and turned left, then right onto School Street.  Soon a yellow-blazed telephone pole directed us into the Lassaw Preserve.  We walked though oak, beech, and red cedar forest by a sign indicating a trail branching off to the nearby school. We reached Hildreth Place and turned left onto Accabonnac Road for a short distance. We began to see the blue-rectangular blazes of the Jacobs Farm Loop.  We followed yellow blazes and the blue blazes through Jacobs Farm Preserve across Red Dirt Road.  A short distance after crossing the Red Dirt Road we reached the Paumanok Path.  If we were to turn to the right, the Path would take us west to the High Point and Accabonnac Preserves; we turn left passing along-side a huge glacial erratic.  We then headed east and entered through “kissing gates” into the Peconic Land Trust Stony Hill Preserve.  We entered a knob and kettle topography, huge beech trees with their cheerful orange and yellow leaves, and isolated patches of oak leaves turned deep magenta.  We then turned left at Stony Hill (dirt) Road and walked it a short distance to just before it starts being paved, then we turned right by a Peconic Land Trust sign.  “It is possible to move the trail into the woods and off of the road here.”  I listened intently to Mike and Gene as they bounded back into the woods. We found ourselves walking on a trail that had once been part of the Paumanok Path, but the blazes are now covered with blue paint. We were on a narrow, rugged, winding, picturesque stretch of Town property that abruptly opens up into cleared agricultural land.  The blazes were now on “flexi-stacks” and some were on locust logs embedded in the ground; harvested from the old brush dump.  We cut across Town Lane and followed Windmill Lane, walking across railroad tracks.  Yellow blazes on a pole (on the left side of the road) led us down a stairway built from black locust logs to what looked like someone’s backyard.  Once again, we walked through agricultural land, across a field, through a farm shed, and into the parking lot behind the Amagansett Library.

When I asked Joan Porco, author of Holding Back the Tide; The Thirty-Five Year Struggle to Save Montauk, why she feels that this trail is so important, she said, “Deb Foster initiated this trail with the hope that young people may understand the precious history and beauty of the area in which they live.”



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